'One-click' dispute rages on in court

The patent case between online retailers Amazon.com Inc. and Barnesandnoble.com Inc. saw some movement last week when the US Court of Appeals ruled that Barnesandnoble.com could continue to use the one-click system technology under contention until a full ruling is made in the case.

Amazon.com filed the suit against Barnesandnoble.com in an effort to defend its patent. The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 10 in Seattle, Amazon.com officials said.

Amazon.com's patented one-click system enables repeat online customers to place orders without re-entering credit card or address information. Part of the patent covers the way Amazon stores its billing and shipping data. In December 1999, Amazon obtained a preliminary court injunction against Barnesandnoble.com that prevented its rival from using the one-click system. Last week's ruling overturned that decision.

In March 2000, thousands of independent software developers publicly criticized Amazon.com President Jeffrey Bezos for obtaining the software patent. The US Patent and Trademark Office was also criticized for granting the patent, which many believed hindered innovation.

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